2661 Tasting Notes

drank Roasted Cocoa Mate by Fusion Teas
2661 tasting notes

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205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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drank Prince Vladimir by Kusmi Tea
2661 tasting notes

So, this morning I decided I was bored with the work tea stash, but didn’t have a lot of time to pick things out. However, I remembered that Sil had sent me some black teas, so I grabbed a handful of things and left! This was the result :)

I brewed this up not having the faintest idea what to expect. It looked like orange pieces in the tea, but I wasn’t all that sure. I didn’t manage to drink the tea hot (had more important things to do in other buildings), so it sat cooling on my desk for about six hours, and I’m just getting to it now.

I am having a very difficult time describing the flavour/aroma here. After reading the description, I can taste cinnamon and perhaps some citrus and vanilla as well, although they are very muted. It tastes much like Red Rose, but with some flavouring making it tasty enough to drink straight. I’m not sure what I would have thought about it if I hadn’t known what was in it though – I think “flavoured black”, perhaps with some spices, would have been the farthest I got. I’m just not good at articulating what I can taste!

Either way, it’s not bad (I drank it rather quickly just now), and not astringent/bitter, so I’d definitely drink it again. Not a tea I’d pick up for myself though – this combo of flavours is done better by DT in Glitter & Gold, IMO.

Thanks for this one, Sil!

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

See….weird blend for the…..win? I still dunno how I feel about it but that’s ok haha


It was ok! Actually, when I went into my office later, it definitely smelled a bit more like a weak Glitter & Gold, but I never would have made the connection without reading the description of the tea.


Glad I didn’t get this one! It was tempting me in Banff. Smelled like cola bottle candies. But had a feeling the flavour would be meh.

And good to know about Glitter and Gold. I still need to try it.


If you like citrus/cinnamon teas, it might be worth a shot :)

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I’ve definitely been in the mood for darker oolongs lately, and apparently had yet to try this one! Apricot flavours? Sure, why not! I’m not sure that drinking this one after Sweet Leaf from Sheng is the best idea, but hopefully it won’t interfere too much. Thanks to David Duckler for including a sample of this one in one of my Verdant orders!

I used about 2-3g of leaf and as I couldn’t find brewing parameters anywhere, used about 8-10oz. of water for the first infusion, and 8 for the second.

First infusion (205F/30s): The flavour here is light, but acceptably so. A bit woody, but slightly sweet and fruity, I can see where apricot notes could have been picked up, although I’m not specifically tasting apricot. No, actually, I think I can taste apricot. Delicious! This infusion is definitely lighter on the woodsy taste than other dark oolongs I’ve tried, and it lacks the burny/toasty flavours as well (not a bad thing!)

Second infusion (202F/1min): Ok, this was too long, and I should have known better. Surprisingly, the tea actually isn’t too bad, but it’s definitely oversteeped, and turning bitter, with just a touch of astringency. Unfortunately, the bitterness kind of takes over here and all I’m really picking up is a peppery flavour (that seems to be how the bitterness is coming across to me). Probably would have done better with 45s.

Hopefully more infusions to come! I wish I hadn’t wrecked the second infusion; I suspect it could have been pretty good :( At least I have a cup’s worth of leaf left to try things out again!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Sweet Leaf by Shang Tea
2661 tasting notes

Thanks for sending me a bit of this to try, Azzrian!

Had this not been labelled, I definitely would have assumed it was an oolong, by the appearance of the rolled up leaves. I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of the smell of the leaves while this tea was steeping. It was a very vegetal, somewhat familiar aroma, and it just didn’t appeal to me. It almost smelled… fridgey? You know, that sat-too-long kind of smell? Luckily, the tea doesn’t have that same aroma, and smells more like Nestea’s green tea with lemon, or something like that.

…. oh my. This is crazy sweet. It seems I should have used about half the leaf I did! This is quite good though, but honestly WAYYYYY too sweet for me at its current level. I used the whole baggie of tea that I received (I didn’t measure it, but maybe 1-2 tsp) in a large-ish mug, and it’s very, very sweet. Almost… like golden raisins… why am I getting that association?? I’m getting a bit of that fridgey taste, but I have a feeling it’s just something in the leaves that’s causing it, not an age thing.

The flavour definitely reminds me of when I’m plumping up raisins for oatmeal raisin cookies, so raisins in water in a bowl in the microwave, making lovely raisin water that I drain out.

Anyways, I don’t think this is a tea I’d drink as tea… however I noticed that the recommendation was to add a bit to other teas to sweeten them, and I think that’s a great idea that I’ll have to try sometime… because I think I spotted an extra baggie of this in my box from Azzrian so I do have some left (that must have been an oops?? :P)

Thanks for a sample of this one, Azzrian! I’m always up for trying new, interesting things! :D

205 °F / 96 °C

Yes for me this is WAY too sweet as a tea. I had actually made a post on this that you might have missed. It is EXCELLENT for sweetening other teas though – which you did find out I see. :)
My daughter however does love it on its own but she is a sweet tooth girl all the way.
I love it when I want to make a dessert tea pop.
And it only takes a few rolled nublets! :)

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drank Indian Summer by DAVIDsTEA
2661 tasting notes

Last tea of the evening! I gotta admit, it was tough not to eat the big dried apple chunks out of the bag. I was hungry, and they looked tasty… but I was strong! Haha :)

This tea smells interestingly melony and fruity, when brewed up. Kind of reminds me of Luscious Watermelon. The flavour though, is difficult to place. Kind of melony… kind of fruity… kind of weak… Definitely can’t taste any white tea here (no surprise, I barely saw any in my bag). I’m getting a bit of a lemony/citrusy twist to this tea as well. Overall… it’s not bad, but it’s really nothing special, I don’t think. Maybe I’ll try the rest iced and a bit stronger.

ETA: I finished off the rest of my cup today, and liked it a bit better as a fruity, melony drink. The re-steep, in less water and for 5+ minutes, also wasn’t too bad. Not a keeper, though.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Toasted Marshmallow by DAVIDsTEA
2661 tasting notes

Honestly, I’m not sure what I was expecting with this tea! Something good, for sure, but it occurred to me that I hadn’t really put much thought into what I’d expect a “toasted marshmallow” tea to taste like. Other than, delicious, sweet, burny, toasty marshmallow, of course!

Unfortunately though, this is just coming across as a rather sweet chai to me. I can definitely taste the distinct flavour of marshmallow, and beneath it a cohort of light chai spices. Spices don’t = toasted to me, and as the marshmallow flavour is of a raw, untoasted marshmallow, this tea doesn’t hit the mark implied by its name. That said, I’m enjoying it as a light chai, it just probably wouldn’t be a tea I’d go back to again – I’d probably prefer not to have the marshmallows in it and instead sweeten the tea myself if necessary.

ETA: Re-steeped today, in half the water and for who knows how long, and ended up with a watery, disappointing, chai-ish flavoured beverage. I hadn’t been expecting marshmallow, but thought there might be a bit more flavour. Guess this tea’s only really good for one infusion.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Daniel Scott

I wasn’t knocked over by this one either, and I’m unsure what the hullabaloo is about.


Yeah. I liked it well enough, but it was nothing special, and certainly didn’t taste like toasted marshmallows!


I was thinking of adding a pinch of lapsing souchong to it and see how that goes to develop a smoky aspect that I felt was lacking…


Clever! I should remember to try that next time :) I have enough for 1-2 cups left.


I liked this one, definitely wasn’t toasted marshmallow flavored but I liked it. Haven’t done a review yet because I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention. This did not re-steep well at all, I do remember that.

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Accidently steeped this one too long (although surprisingly it’s not bitter/astringent) and I also think it has sat too long, so I’ll need to review this one properly later. My current impression of it is as a delicately floral, rose-watery tea that’s rather light. Not bad, I can handle floral at this level. Can’t really taste much apple though. Highly unlikely to become a favourite.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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drank Red Velvet Cake by DAVIDsTEA
2661 tasting notes

I admit… I’m probably one of the few people in this world who isn’t obsessed with red velvet cake. In fact… I actually don’t know what it is, nor what the big deal is. I seem to recall my sister going all crazy about making red velvet cupcakes or something…

Anyways, cake tea! I liked the other cake teas, so why not try this one too!

The dry tea smells sickeningly sweet, like the other cake teas. No surprise there! I like sickeningly sweet sometimes though, so am not particularly concerned. I did note that I don’t seem to have white chocolate bits in my tea like in the picture… just red and white sprinkles and brown chocolate pieces.

Gross… this is another one that would probably have best been drank hot, as there’s a lot of scum around the edge of my cup, likely from the sprinkles. I’m really not a fan of sprinkles in my tea, to be honest. Actually, I don’t like sprinkles at all.

The aroma remains sickeningly sweet once brewed, but surprisingly, I’m not really getting that level of sweetness in the tea. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely somewhat sweet, and I can pick up chocolate and a kind of cakey flavour, but that’s about it. Wow. This one’s very “meh” for me. The aroma was making me liken it to Birthday Cake, and then the kick of chocolate to Chocolate Cake… but it seems to be a mixture of the aroma of BC plus the chocolate of CC… and not much in between. Perhaps it’s a consequence of going with only a short 4-minute infusion, but I doubt that. On the plus side, no astringency or bitterness, but the tradeoff may be flavour. Oh well! Glad I only picked up a bit of this one.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Nah, you’re not alone … many of the red velvet confections I have tried taste more like the food coloring than the chocolate.


Yeah its not that special really. IMO


I agree with you…got this in the Christmas tin and was excited to try it, as I thought I might enjoy a cake flavoured tea. Wrong. I don’t hate it, but I definitely wouldn’t buy it for myself. Which is a shame, because to me, it does smell yummy in the tin.

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drank Paradise Found by DAVIDsTEA
2661 tasting notes

Backlog from earlier today. I remember disliking this one the first time I brewed it up as it was so strongly hibiscusy and floral. So, decided to drop the infusion time to 3 minutes and use about 1.5 tsp of leaf for my slightly oversized mug… and success!! I can’t remember exactly how it tasted, but it was not too tart, nor too floral; instead, the flavour actually resembled the aroma of the dry tea, which I definitely did like! So I’ll give this one a little ratings bump. Still not a tea I’d pick up again, but not as bad as I had thought, it just requires some attention paid to the hibiscus!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Ok, so I was pretty skeptical of this tea. Mostly because bleh, hibiscus. But hey, it’s supposed to be Strawberry Rhubarb, so the tartness should be appropriate, and I like teas with the creaminess of yogurt, so all hope is not lost!

The dry tea smells, to me, exactly like a strawberry Campino candy! Delicious delicious DELICIOUS! I’m so excited! Although guaranteed it won’t taste quite like that since there is hibiscus, but if the strawberry and yogurt come through…!

Steeped, it smells a bit more like realistic strawberries and some tartness, but as it’s cold, there’s not a ton of aroma.

I was very conservative with the infusion time so as not to end up with a mouthful of blechy hibiscus (it worked earlier today for me – I had quite a lovely cup of Paradise Found, which I apparently neglected to log)… and I think I was successful! There are lots of little yogurty floaties, a consequence of the tea cooling, but I can deal with that. I am quite shocked at how well the hibiscus works here though! The tartness pairs perfectly with the very much realistic strawberry flavour, and with the creaminess, I can actually imagine myself to be eating, say, plain yogurt with a lightly sweetened topping of strawberries/rhubarb! Delicious! I imagine that this tea would be absolutely glorious sweetened, but I shan’t ruin it for myself by doing that.

Add another to the potential re-buy list… this one’s pretty good!

ETA: I’m impressed! I re-steeped this one in half the water, and paid no real attention to infusion time, and actually got quite a nice second cup! Surprising because of both the hibiscus and the fact that it’s a herbal! Again, it was a tart drink, but fresh strawberry tart, not hibiscus tart. Not as creamy, of course, but I’d make the effort to use these leaves a second time. Also, I’m kind of sad that pretty much all the new teas were misses for me, or at least, not teas that I’ll miss when the season’s out. Luckily, this one’s the TOTM and I think therefore staying on as permanent, which is awesome!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

That is good to know that the hibiscus isn’t too overpowering. I might pick some of this up now that I know that. Thanks!


Don’t get me wrong, it’s tart. But it works here, and you can definitely taste the strawberry and creaminess, not just hibiscus. It came off moreso to me as an unsweetened fresh fruit sort of tart.

Daniel Scott

You had the same reaction as me! THIS is how you blend hibiscus! It really works with rhubarb and a genuine tart strawberry flavour.

I too have been conservative with the steeping times on this one. Even at 4 minutes, I found it slightly tarter than the one they gave me in the store, which really makes me wonder either a) how much agave they put in mine, or b) if they’re only giving it 3 minutes in the store, despite the steeping directions on it.


I just wanted to add that I agree about how the hibiscus was blended. I was incredibly surprised at how balanced all the flavours are in this tea!


This is the only tea dt’s has had recently that I’d like to try…. Hmmmm

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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